Headlined with the phrase "Zip, Zero, Nada," Heritage Homes Group pitched mortgage deals on the Web, in newspapers, and by direct mail, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC said Tuesday that the Jamison, Bucks County, homebuilder had settled a lawsuit accusing it of deceiving consumers into believing they could finance homes without a down payment or closing costs.
Instead, the agency said, borrowers owed a "good faith deposit," settlement costs, and an annual fee.
The settlement also imposed a $650,000 civil penalty on Heritage and four affiliates, but the FTC said it was "suspended because of the operation's poor financial condition." - Jeff Gelles